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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Something came to me today I think this is the number reason why I am still like this. I am afraid that people that I know will find out my lack of friends and social life. One of my coworkers today invited me to hang out at their apartment after work. Apparently a bunch of people from work and their friends are coming over. I made up an excuse and politely declined.


I wasn't always this way. I used to enjoy a large company of friends and was generally happy. It is just easier to make new friends and meet new girls when you already enjoy a large network of friends. But now the only time I pick up an offer is when someone asks me to see a movie or go to a bar with them. Because you don't have to talk to them at a movie and at a bar I can just get drunk and hit on chicks.


But if I am hanging out with them at their apartment or eat dinner I have to talk to them about deeper stuff and eventually it will come out that I have no friends or social life. I am just embarrassed about that. So when coworkers, people from the gym, people from my soccer league, etc ask me to hang out I blow them off. Even though I really really want to join in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I thought you had college buddies that you still hang out with. At least from what I recall recently.
They drove up for my birthday. I see them maybe once every 3-4 months. I hardly call that a social life or a fulfilling relationship. Everyone is busy with their own lives and work. I have a feeling that in a few years I will lose all contact with my former life.
 

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I thought you had college buddies that you still hang out with. At least from what I recall recently.
They drove up for my birthday. I see them maybe once every 3-4 months. I hardly call that a social life or a fulfilling relationship. Everyone is busy with their own lives and work. I have a feeling that in a few years I will lose all contact with my former life.
Thanks for the clarification. I know what that's like too. Or I should say "knew". It's already happened to me. Now to get back up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the clarification. I know what that's like too. Or I should say "knew". It's already happened to me. Now to get back up?
It's difficult to make lasting relationships when you have no friends. People don't want to associate with loners. The only reason why people keep being friendly to me is because I have this happy, well adjusted and sociable facade that I put on in public. If they knew how depressed and lonely I was people would avoid me like the plague.
 

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Thanks for the clarification. I know what that's like too. Or I should say "knew". It's already happened to me. Now to get back up?
It's difficult to make lasting relationships when you have no friends. People don't want to associate with loners. The only reason why people keep being friendly to me is because I have this happy, well adjusted and sociable facade that I put on in public. If they knew how depressed and lonely I was people would avoid me like the plague.
No ****. Except I'm not that good at hiding it too well. Or maybe I'm just not as willing. It all depends on my mood.

I also do whatever I can to make sure people that I get on with don't find out that I don't have any friends. I've been convinced it's a deal breaker, and then... back to square one yet again.
 

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Seems like people are trying to make friends with you...and you're the one saying no. Go hang out when they invite you over...just talk about music or sports. Then you'll have a reason to go out just for the hell of it.
 

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I'm afraid of this too. It makes me want to avoid getting close to people because I have this fear they'll criticise me or start avoiding me if they find out I don't have a typical social life. And thus the self-perpetuating cycle continues....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No ****. Except I'm not that good at hiding it too well. Or maybe I'm just not as willing. It all depends on my mood.

I also do whatever I can to make sure people that I get on with don't find out that I don't have any friends. I've been convinced it's a deal breaker, and then... back to square one yet again.
It is a deal breaker from my experience and it sucks because how are you supposed to make friends if you need friends in the first place? I rather have this casual relationship with people where I still talk to them when I run into them. Maybe even grab a drink from time to time. It's better than having nothing at all. Fulfilling relationships are so hard to come by. People my age already have a bunch of friends they knew for 5+ years so they aren't as welcoming of newcomers. I think I might just accept the fact that I will be alone forever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm afraid of this too. It makes me want to avoid getting close to people because I have this fear they'll criticise me or start avoiding me if they find out I don't have a typical social life. And thus the self-perpetuating cycle continues....
It sucks so badly. Because people are so nice and friendly to you. But after they find out that you are a loner they avoid you too. I mean it kind of makes sense, what kind of person in their 20s has no friends or a social life. Even I think it's strange and I am the person who is suffering from it. Once they find out the true you they start treating you differently. It sucks. I just want to be loved.
 

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It is a deal breaker from my experience and it sucks because how are you supposed to make friends if you need friends in the first place? I rather have this casual relationship with people where I still talk to them when I run into them. Maybe even grab a drink from time to time. It's better than having nothing at all. Fulfilling relationships are so hard to come by. People my age already have a bunch of friends they knew for 5+ years so they aren't as welcoming of newcomers. I think I might just accept the fact that I will be alone forever.
I think that is it right there. People our age have already made their friends already, whether it be in high school (the ones that lasted, of course - but even then most still keep in touch with acquaintances as well) or in college. They don't "need" another friend.

In our case, we have to start from square one, so when we are trying to make friends with people around our age, it doesn't work because they all have all the friends they need anyway.

Granted, they might appreciate the added companionship for a temporary period, but then after they've had enough (especially when they suspect that you don't really have anyone else to even talk to), they brush you off for good without a second's worth of thought.
 

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The only thing you can do is try as hard as you can to not focus on that. You are getting better, and will only continue to get better, the worst of your social anxiety is over. From this day forward you will only improve!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think that is it right there. People our age have already made their friends already, whether it be in high school (the ones that lasted, of course - but even then most still keep in touch with acquaintances as well) or in college. They don't "need" another friend.

In our case, we have to start from square one, so when we are trying to make friends with people around our age, it doesn't work because they all have all the friends they need anyway.

Granted, they might appreciate the added companionship for a temporary period, but then after they've had enough (especially when they suspect that you don't really have anyone else to even talk to), they brush you off for good without a second's worth of thought.
You make some good points. I'd like to also add that these groups of friends have this unsaid social dynamic that's hard to pick up when you are the new guy. Since they know each others quirks and tolerances they know how to act and communicate within the group. Plus you'll always be that guy that keeps tagging along unless you can make it past the initial stage.
 

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I think the fear of people judging you as a loner is another SA characteristic, well the judging part anyway. I also feel if i get too personal with anyone they will eventually find out that I live a lonesome lifestyle which basically revolves around my parents and nothing more. I also feel having no friends to hang out with brings to to a whole depth of loneliness and depression. You lose interest in life, have no real hobbies which results in having not much to say which leads to awkward social situations.

The usual way I deflect any form of conversation resolving around social activities or my social life is that I say I have been real busy with work and having been working late hours and haven't had much time to catch up with friends lately. The other party usually gets the messages and we move onto something else.

I think any form of social networking initiating by another party is beneficial to our SA and the more we get use to it the better and more comfortable we feel, so I say maybe accept the invite next time? I know it's easier said than done. At least the next person you might you might have something to say about in terms of a social life and go from there.
 

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You make some good points. I'd like to also add that these groups of friends have this unsaid social dynamic that's hard to pick up when you are the new guy. Since they know each others quirks and tolerances they know how to act and communicate within the group. Plus you'll always be that guy that keeps tagging along unless you can make it past the initial stage.
Yep, I know what you mean. I have a buddy that I kinda hang out with from time to time. And even though we kind of "get" each other (for lack of a better term), I still don't feel completely involved. When it's just us two, it's fine. But when other people are involved, I feel very disconnected.

The way I see it, most experiences won't get you past that initial stage unfortunately.

It's funny, I feel abnormal and defective about figuring out how to try to make friends and establish social connections with people at our age. Meanwhile people even in their early teens do it like it's second nature. People would probably think "Wait... you need to learn how to make friends? What's wrong with you?" It's as if we're aliens from another planet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yep, I know what you mean. I have a buddy that I kinda hang out with from time to time. And even though we kind of "get" each other (for lack of a better term), I still don't feel completely involved. When it's just us two, it's fine. But when other people are involved, I feel very disconnected.

The way I see it, most experiences won't get you past that initial stage unfortunately.

It's funny, I feel abnormal and defective about figuring out how to try to make friends and establish social connections with people at our age. Meanwhile people even in their early teens do it like it's second nature. People would probably think "Wait... you need to learn how to make friends? What's wrong with you?" It's as if we're aliens from another planet.
I could have written this post verbatim. We seem to have very similar views on life and relationships. I think you are only the third person here out of the hundreds of members I have encountered that I feel a connection with.

I used to be one of those people where friendships came naturally. But after graduation I have slowly regressed to an awkward 12 year old as far my social development goes. I think being alone makes you lose a lot of those skills you once had.
 

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I could have written this post verbatim. We seem to have very similar views on life and relationships. I think you are only the third person here out of the hundreds of members I have encountered that I feel a connection with.

I used to be one of those people where friendships came naturally. But after graduation I have slowly regressed to an awkward 12 year old as far my social development goes. I think being alone makes you lose a lot of those skills you once had.
Thank you. It's funny how sometimes you can think you're the only one who thinks/feels in a specific manner, only to find out that even one other person shares that mindset as well. Boggles the mind sometimes.

And I agree that after a long period of time of nothing as far as friendships and social flourishment is concerned, you lose any of those abilities. Also keeping in mind that certain events in one's life (personal, family, etc.) can help further mess that up as well. Oh, and the awkward young boy feeling applies too. Definitely a sucky, painful way to feel like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you. It's funny how sometimes you can think you're the only one who thinks/feels in a specific manner, only to find out that even one other person shares that mindset as well. Boggles the mind sometimes.

And I agree that after a long period of time of nothing as far as friendships and social flourishment is concerned, you lose any of those abilities. Also keeping in mind that certain events in one's life (personal, family, etc.) can help further mess that up as well. Oh, and the awkward young boy feeling applies too. Definitely a sucky, painful way to feel like.
I think social skills have to be practiced frequently to maintain them. To most people this comes naturally because generally people interact with others on a daily schedule. When you have no friends or a social life you slowly lose all of that. So it's a vicious cycle. You need friends and social skills to make new friends. If don't have either you become more and more of a loner. It's a negative feedback loop.
 

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I think social skills have to be practiced frequently to maintain them. To most people this comes naturally because generally people interact with others on a daily schedule. When you have no friends or a social life you slowly lose all of that. So it's a vicious cycle. You need friends and social skills to make new friends. If don't have either you become more and more of a loner. It's a negative feedback loop.
That's right and I think (and fear) that as more time passes, it gets a lot tougher to get into that cycle. Since I've almost never had opportunities to socialize on an even normal basis, it was always tough.

Couple with living alone nowadays and not really having much contact with anybody (family included), and not only are opportunities few and far between, but when you don't capitalize on an opportunity, it's that much more painful than it normally would be.
 

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I fear this too. I even had a dream that my ex girl friend found out what a lonely fruad/bull****artist i was and i woke up in a panic lol. And when i talk to people i always have to lie about how good my social life is which eventually adds to my SA coz its always in the back of my mind that they will find out one day. :( the worst part is when people ask me how my weekend was ... What should i do ??:(
 
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